At my job, we get specific emails that need to be responded to right away.

Currently, I filter and forward those emails to my SMS gateway address provided by AT&T (1234567890@txt.att.net). The problem is that they result in 16 text messages because there are 4 emails and each one results in 4 text messages.

Can anyone recommend a service or app that provides an email address that will result in an iPhone popup?

  • How about just displaying a "popup" notification of the email received as a regular email on the iPhone?
    – cregox
    Feb 9, 2011 at 15:37
  • I only want a popup on a particular "From" address, which is the problem. Feb 9, 2011 at 15:47

5 Answers 5


I don't know that you'll find a free one, because it costs money to maintain a server, the server in which you need to use with some software set up to communicate with the Apple Push Notification Service ("APNS").

We use Prowl (link goes to homepage, here is an iTunes App Store Link) at work in order to send Monitoring (NAGIOS) notifications to our phones. It's a $3 app, but it's also infinitely flexible.

It gives you an e-mail address you can use to just shoot notifications too, but it also offers an API you can use to do a lot of special things with.

More details if requested after you check out Zac's site. (Zac is the developer/maintainer/operator of Prowl app and it's associated server backend.)

  • Thanks VxJasonxV. Prowl allows you create an email address from the API key. This was very easy to set up. I now forward my email from Google Voice to the API key email address (40285a2b74f2c02fe250593e97ea8722c58056d3@api.prowlapp.com). The problem is that Google Voice does not give you an email address that you can send a text message to. Other providers provide an email address such 12345678990@vtext.com (Verizon Wireless) so you can text somebody via email. Mar 11, 2011 at 16:57
  • That is true, and is a recent feature. Glad it works fo ryou. P.S. You may want to delete your comment, because you're not supposed to generally give out your API key. Mar 11, 2011 at 19:51

I'm not sure about Popups, but your iPhone can get emails pushed through gmail. Would that help?

Also, whatever forwards to SMS could trim the email so that each only takes 1 SMS to deliver.


My original intent was to enable push support for my mail server and the following recommendation works pretty well for dozens of mails per hour with usually brilliant, rarely not-so-jolly response times.

There are a couple of choices in the App Store. The first I found bearable is Boxcar. It is an app coupled with a service that provides you access to Apple Push Notification Service in a form of a unique e-mail address which you can forward mail to.

It has a variety of notifications, but the best idea is to set it to merely display badges with mail information and play a sound.

The downside is that you have to pipe your mail through a third party but you have a choice to filter forwarded mail on your own mail server, which you already do.

I find it blazing fast most of the time (95%) with response times measured in sub-4 seconds, but there are cases (5%) where the delivery lag jitters highly. I have seen messages appear on the desktop computer 15 minutes before the push arrived.

Still, it's easy to configure and it is actually convenient.


You can send whatever notification using phone pipe:


You will need the free Notifo app for this, check the itunes store.


Google Voice is pretty good for this kind of stuff, and it's free.

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